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Positive Deviance as a Mediator in the Relationship Between High Performance Indicators and Entrepreneurial Orientation



Objective: The purpose of the paper is to investigate if positive deviance is the mediator in the relationship between high performance indicators and organisational entrepreneurship.

Research Design & Methods: The research was carried out on a sample of 406 enterprises using multi-source cross-sectional design. The main analytical technique is structural equations modelling.

Findings: The impact of high performance indicators on positive deviance is somehow ambiguous. Some of the factors influence positive deviance in a positive way (continuous improvement, openness and action orientation, management quality) and some in a negative way (workforce quality, long-term orientation). Positive deviance positively influences all three dimensions of entrepreneurial orientation. However, rather unexpectedly, the weakest influence it has on innovativeness, for which relationship there is the most literature evidence. The study revealed general indirect effect of high performance factors on dimensions of entrepreneurial orientation with the mediation of positive deviance. All of the mediated relationships are statistically significant, however, all of them are rather weak.

Implications & Recommendations: The study has implications for research and practice. It partly explains the effects of high performance indicators for organizational entrepreneurship. Companies that are in pursuit of higher organisational entrepreneurship can use it as a good way of supporting it. It concerns all aspects of entrepreneurial orientation, especially proactiveness.

Contribution & Value Added: The study makes a contribution to research on high performance and entrepreneurship mainly by drawing attention to positive deviance as a mediator in the relationship between high performance factors and organisational entrepreneurship.


high performance organization, entrepreneurial orientation, positive deviance


Author Biography

Przemysław Zbierowski

Przemysław Zbierowski is an associate professor at University of Economics in Katowice. His research interests focus on entrepreneurship, positive organizational scholarship, positive psychology and organizational behavior. He is an author of over 150 academic papers. He has been a leader of four externally funded projects and since 2011 has been the national team leader of Global Entrepreneurship Monitor project. Currently he performs Maria Skłodowska-Curie fellowship awarded by European Commision at King’s College London.


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